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Recovery Act - Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy(ARPA-E); Funding Opportunity Announcement No. DE-FOA-0000065

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number:
Agency: Department of Energy
Office: Federal Locations
Location: All DOE Federal Contracting Offices
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Special Notice
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Added: Apr 27, 2009 2:46 pm
Funding Opportunity Announcement No. DE-FOA-0000065

This is the first solicitation for the Advanced Research Projects Agency



Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E is a new organization within the Department of

Energy

(DOE), created specifically to foster research and development (R&D) of

transformational energy-related technologies. Transformational

technologies

are by definition technologies that disrupt the status quo. They are not

merely better than current technologies, they are significantly better.

Often,

a technology is considered transformational when it so outperforms current



approaches that it causes an industry to shift its technology base to the

new

technology. The Nation needs transformational energy-related technologies

to

overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security, arising

from

its reliance on traditional uses of fossil fuels and the dominant use of

oil in

transportation.



ARPA-E will fund scientists and technologists to take an immature

technology

that promises to make a large impact on the ARPA-E Mission Areas and

develop it

beyond the valley of death that prevents many transformational new

technologies from becoming a market reality. The valley of death

generally

occurs in two phases. The first phase occurs at the point of determining

whether a laboratory stage technology can ever become a real-world

technology

or it has some inherent unsuitability for real-world applications. Once

it has

been determined through R&D that the apparent barriers can be overcome and

how

they may be overcome, then additional investment from many other sources

causes

a new field of technology options to open up. The second phase of the

valley

of death occurs at the point of developing the immature transformational

technology to the point where key risks have been lowered enough that

industry

can invest in the final stages of development and incorporate the

technology

into products.



Success for ARPA-E as an organization will be gauged by (a) whether its

portfolio of investments includes the most promising transformational

energy

technology options and (b) the agencys ability to form and manage R&D

efforts

to mature these technologies rapidly. In the end, the nation will judge

ARPA-E

on whether these technologies come to market and are being used widely

enough

that they make a significant difference to reductions in domestic oil use

and

energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases.



To accomplish these challenging goals, ARPA-E is willing to work with any

R&D

entity singly or in teams, that has a transformational technology idea and

a

credible plan to mature that technology beyond either phase of the valley

of

death. For early stage transformational technologies with the potential

for

broad transformational impact, the R&D project must carry the technology

development to the point where others can recognize the major potential

impact

and the technology is suitable for development or can be made suitable.

For

the projects aimed at overcoming the later phase of the valley of death,

the

technology (component, system, hardware, software, or other) must be

matured to

the point that it can transition into industrial development and

deployment.



The kinds of technologies most suited to an ARPA-E style development are

those

that still have significant technical risks to overcome, but promise to

meet

the future costs and scale of products that can deeply penetrate into

consumer

and industrial use. ARPA-E intends to accelerate the development of these



technologies and, in many cases, make possible transformational

technologies

that would normally not be able to reach enough maturity for industry to

use

them because of the risks at the current stage of development.



ARPA-E intends to be a nimble, flat organization that is willing to take

on

high-risk projects to meet its ambitious goals. Working with the

performer,

ARPA-E will create an intellectual property strategy, technical data

strategy,

and procurement or financial assistance instrument that best manages the

high

risk inherent in this kind of R&D and optimizes the likelihood that the

technology will move forward to market after the Government ceases

funding.

ARPA-E has the flexibilities to work with companies who do not

traditionally

work with the Federal Government. In the area of cost-sharing, ARPA-E

will be

flexible, working with the performer to determine the appropriate level

and the

appropriate type of cost-sharing arrangements, which may include monetary

contributions and/or other (in-kind) contributions. As rules of thumb,

when

the project risk is very high, the cost sharing should be lower. When the



technology is closer to market or the future market is large and

potentially

very profitable, the cost share should be higher.



Once the R&D project begins, ARPA-E Program Managers will interact

frequently

with performers, helping to identify problems as early as possible and

seeking

solutions to keep the R&D on track. ARPA-Es role is more than simply

providing R&D funds; ARPA-E will actively work to make your R&D succeed.



This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), funded through the American

Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will focus on high-risk,

high-payoff

transformational energy-related R&D. In this announcement, ARPA-E asks

for the

kernel of your technical idea in the form of a concept paper. ARPA-E will



respond to you, indicating whether a full application based on that idea

is

likely to receive funding. We do this first step to save you the time and



expense of preparing a full application that may have little chance of

success. Please read carefully about the ARPA-E mission and decide if

your R&D

plan really satisfies these goals. Only truly transformational

technologies

that can contribute greatly to the ARPA-Es Mission Areas have any chance

of

funding. We are not looking for incremental progress on current

technologies.



If you have a technical idea that can change the energy landscape and are

looking to work with ARPA-E to move that technology beyond the technical

risk

barriers preventing its current use, read further.



This initial announcement is narrowly focused on transformational R&D, but



intentionally broad on applications and technologies. This announcement

is

open to the full range of concepts potentially covering all aspects of

ARPA-Es

Mission Areas. The intent is to harness the creativity of all sectors of

the

American science and technology communities to advance the ARPA-E Mission

Areas

and stimulate the pursuit of new and innovative technical opportunities

that

can spur great leaps forward within those mission impact areas.



Concept Paper



In order to reduce the administrative burden on applicants and ARPA-E, and

to

mitigate unnecessary costs associated with the generation of applications

that

are unlikely to receive funding and expedite awards, ARPA-E applicants are



required to submit a concept paper as the first step of the application

process. ARPA-E will review the concept paper and provide early feedback

on

whether the kernel of the R&D idea is likely to form a basis of a

successful

full application. Only after notification from ARPA-E on the concept

paper

will the applicant be permitted to submit a full application.



Opening time for submission of concept papers begins May 12, 2009. The

Concept

Paper closing date and time is on 2 June 2009 at 8:00 p.m. (EST). Concept



papers must be submitted to www.FedConnect.net at any time between the

opening

time and the closing time for concept paper submission. Early submission

is

strongly encouraged.



This FOA will appear both on the FedConnect website stated above and on

http://grants.gov/. Mr. Bradley Poston at Bradley.Poston@hq.doe.gov is

the

Grants Officer.
:
U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave, SW WashingtonDC, 20585
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